I live in North Conway almost and hour from Gina and Tami's in Randolph. I was meeting them at their house Friday morning after my swim training and my pre race brick workout. I was riding back to their house with Steve after my tri and staying there Saturday night. Bethel is about 30 minutes from their house and we had plans on Sunday evening to talk about London. I was staying over again and swimming near their house and then to work. So Thursday evening I packed for four days! I have become quite the expert of packing and unpacking!
I also received an email that night with an update on the water temperature. If it's above 78º wearing a wetsuit will disqualify you from results. I had a small panic attack when I read that. Wearing a wetsuit not only keeps you warm it helps your lower half stay right near the surface of the water. Friday mornings swim training was changed from the river to the lake-no wetsuit. I haven't swam without a wetsuit in a few months so I knew I needed the practice.
I was very excited to be racing and had prepared mentally for most of the week plus there was a whole group camping. We arrived at the campground and checked in. We climbed the mountain to our site and laughed. Our site was tiny with no picnic table or fire pit so we moved to a bigger one.
The pick up was three miles from the campground. The road followed the edge of the lake and it was a beautiful ride. The 16 mile course was an out and back with some long climbs. There were no shoulders and the pavement wasn't that great so I really needed to concentrate and hold on! On the way back we checked out the transition area met Gina on her bike and rode back to camp. I should have brought a bag to put our race stuff in but wasn't thinking. We drove back to packet pickup and checked out the bike shop. Dinner was the usual stir fry chicken, veggies and a salad. We had a great evening chatting by the fire and talking about the race.
The morning was gorgeous! We made breakfast and Tyler met us at our site at 6:30. It took just five minutes to get to the venue and the lake was sparkling.
I loved riding near the lake it brought back so many memories of my childhood. I used to get up at 5am with my Grampie sneak into the fridge to get bread and quietly make our way down to the dock not waking Grammie up and feed the fish and ducks. The sparkling sun on the water, the stillness in the air and time with Grampie will never leave my memory.
I did my first three minute all out and felt a little sluggish. I recovered turned back and after I finished my second power interval I felt better. I reported that back to Steve and he confirmed that hows its supposed to feel. I went out on my run and the same happened except I didn't feel super great after the second one. It's always a challenge to time my warm up with the start of the race. I'm usually behind schedule and don't often get a good swim in. This time I was ahead of schedule! We got the word wetsuits were allowed and I began the process of getting into it. It's much better when someone helps.
Tyler and I were excited we could wear wetsuits!
I was able to get a great swim warm up in. This week Steve and I were working on my sighting. I've been lifting my head up too high which makes my legs sink and slows me down. I sight every 10 strokes so that's a lot of slowing down. Steve watched me and said it was much better. I also struggle with going out too hard and being out of breath before the first turn. Steve said to focus on a high turn over with a little less power until I fall into my rhythm. The national anthem played which always brings a little tears to my eyes knowing how hard my brother fought overseas for me to have this opportunity and I'm thankful he's home safe.
I was in the second wave and this time they were mixed male and female another first for me. I was so pumped to race and go all out. The horn sounded and I went out fast but relaxed and let a few people pass. My sighting was better and I didn't panic.
I drafted off a few swimmers and made sure I swam as far into the shore as possible. Most swim until they first see the bottom, stand up and try to run in waist deep water. It's much faster to keep swimming. I was the 6th swimmer out in my wave!
I knew the ride was going to be tough and Steve had a plan. Go out hard at a pace you almost can't keep up and know you'll cruise the long downhill on the way back. He didn't tell me my legs would be more tired for the run because he knew I'd hold back, very true. I passed a few in the first mile. I leap frogged one guy and looked back the after the second pass and he was drafting! I moved over slightly and back and almost said something but didn't. We approached the first long climb he stood for a little and I dropped into an easier gear and spun up past him. The climb was about 3/4 of a mile when I reached the top and glanced back, he was less that half way up! He never caught me. I pushed it downhill and up the next. I could see the turn-around it was a 180. I quickly ran through what I needed to do to loose the least amount of speed. I downshifted into the right gear made the turn and as I accelerated I hit the one small rock on the road and slipped up a little and then accelerated as fast as I could right back up to speed and back into the aero bars to settle in. I was passed on the climb and tried to stay with him but couldn't. I topped the hill and began the descent. I knew the pavement was horrible and stayed more towards the middle of the road. I always wear clear lens so I can see when there are shadows from the trees.
I came back into town and had a few miles left. I was a little concerned about not having enough left for the run.
Got through T2 in 24 seconds and my legs were not so light and quick. The run was out and back on the same road as the bike course. There was one deep valley towards the beginning. I was trying to be fast but just wasn't feeling it. As I approached the turn-around, the volunteers asked if I was doing the sprint or the half. I yelled sprint and they directed me to turn around the cone. The half continued on. There were two cyclists coming at me so I had to hesitate and time my turn without getting run over. I tried to imagine there was no hill but it only worked for so long. I watched the other women and tried to gauge their pace. As I topped the hill I saw the turn back to the finish. I visualized a rope pulling me closer and closer. I made the last turn and sprinted and almost missed the finish shoot!
I met up with the group, elevated my legs and waited for Tyler.
They had screens up with the results and we discovered they were only the swim times for both the Half and Sprint. We got some food and watched the rest of the finishers. We kept checking the screens for more results but they weren't being updated.
As they started gathering the prizes no one knew how they finished, the results still weren't posted. As the top male was announced and the crowd cheered, I said to myself I hope my time was good enough for first place. Then they announced my name as first place female, I was super happy!
We took a few photos and looked at the printed results and Tyler was 4th in his age group!
The weather was beautiful and plans after lunch were a nap, swimming, kayaking and relaxing. I really wanted to stay and hang but I was racing the next day all the way back in Bethel ME about three hours from the campground. We packed my stuff in Steve's car and headed north back to Randolph. I did a quick load of laundry ate dinner and went to bed.
I was meeting Steve at 6:45 in town to head over to Bethel. It was a beautiful morning in Randolph.
Steve and I went out for a warm up spinning high getting legs warm. I had 3 Power Intervals to do with 5 min recovery in between. We rode out on most of the first half of the course. My legs were so tired and heavy. Usually after the third PI it goes away but not this time, but I knew that would happen. On our return to the start two convertibles passed us, honked and waved. I had no idea who it was.
We arrived back at my car and saw four blue t-shirts. It was a few members of Team Skidmore, the Surettes and the Richards! I was so excited they came!
Steve and I attended the pre race meeting No drafting, say to left of white line except to pass and careful of the potholes on the North Road. Racers were starting 30 seconds apart. Steve was first, but he prefers to be towards the back so he has riders to chase. I got in line and waited for my turn. I wanted to do well but wasn't sure how my legs would feel.
The start makes me feel like a pro! They hold your bike up so you're not loosing time fumbling to clip in. Just have to be sure your in the right gear!
They counted me down and I was off. My goal was to ease into it and maintain what I could. Rt 2 West has nice wide shoulders and smooth pavement. I caught and passed two before the turn at about half way. I was also passed by two racers who were going so fast it felt like I was barley moving. I picked off two more on the North Road. A few miles in I saw a rider on the side of the road working on his bike. As I got closer I recognized him, it was Steve! I asked if he was ok and he yelled "go! go! go!" He either had a flat or mechanical. Huge bummer.
I didn't know exactly where the finish was and was starting to loose speed and power. I didn't even think to switch my computer screen over to mileage. I really should have. I was passed by another female who was very very strong. I tried to stay with her but only lasted a few seconds my legs were burning. A half mile later I saw the finish I gave it all I had.
Steve was just a few minutes behind me. I cheered him through the finish line and we met up with our fans.
Talked about the race and then looked at results. The race crew had a small pop up tent, four timers and three computers. One was set up facing the racers and results were posted in live time.
I raced 19 miles in 53:33 not too bad considering how tired my legs were.
I was happy with my time and the experience of racing two days in a row.
It's now four days after the event and I'm just now 11pm finishing this blog, I rushed through the TT recap. This week has been very busy.
Monday-5:30 am Swim training, work, afternoon ride, pack things for the next week of house sitting
Tuesday- Work, mtn bike race/brick, move into new house
Wednesday-5:30 am swim training, work, afternoon ride 1.5 hours didn't eat enough and bonked hard at end of ride was out of it for an hour or so then had to be driven to get banner from bike club for a photo shoot the following day.
Thursday-7am meeting at work, work, photo shoot and afternoon time trial. Had to bring a friend home due to rain and had to get trainer back at my house to ride inside. Started workout at 7pm dinner at 8:30, finished Blog prep for practice race at 5:30 am
Friday- Practice triathlon at race pace before work, work, pm workout.
Saturday - pre race workout before work then drive to Greenfield MA 3.5 hours for a Triathlon on Sunday.